When you are in a car accident, even a minor one, you may not notice any physical symptoms right away. Part of this is due to the stress and increased adrenaline that occurs after a crash.
However, some of the symptoms from an accident injury do not show up for hours or days later. Be aware of symptoms that appear later so that you can get the treatment you need.
Whiplash and its effects
Someone who is in a serious crash knows to get medical treatment right away. However, seeking treatment is not as common for those in minor and moderate crashes. According to the Mayo Clinic, whiplash is one of the most common injuries sustained in a car wreck, especially in rear-ended accidents. It occurs when the force of the impact causes the neck to move rapidly back and forth.
This action results in injury to the muscles, nerves and other soft tissues of the neck. Accompanying symptoms may include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Limited range of motion in neck
- Tingling in hands and fingers
- Tenderness in shoulders and upper back
Unlike some symptoms after a crash, whiplash symptoms generally show up the next day or even a couple of days after the accident. Delaying or forgoing treatment can result in chronic pain and injuries.
Emotional trauma can also occur
Biomedical Health and News reports that emotional symptoms can also show up after a crash. Although it is not uncommon to have some reservations about driving again after an accident, it becomes concerning when symptoms get worse and last a long time. Post-traumatic stress disorder occurs in almost 40% of car accident survivors, and diagnosis occurs months after a crash. Common symptoms include anxiety, depression, paranoia, recurring nightmares and avoidance behaviors. Fortunately, there are various effective treatments for PTSD.